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Manchester airport tells passengers to expect more baggage delays over Christmas

One traveller reported a seven-hour baggage reclaim wait on 18 December

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Monday 19 December 2022 11:29 GMT
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The airport blames ongoing disruption on Swissport’s ‘staffing challenges’
The airport blames ongoing disruption on Swissport’s ‘staffing challenges’ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Manchester Airport is telling passengers to prepare for “disappointing” baggage delays over the Christmas period, apologising for the “disruption they may face.”

Swissport provides ground services to the airport, and the company’s current staffing situation is being blamed for both current and further expected delays.

The warning comes after baggage reclaim delays were reported on Sunday 18 December, with passengers sharing their experiences on social media.

One passenger posted on Twitter: “Up to seven hour delays at baggage at Manchester - going to be a long night.”

“Flight from Lanzarote on Sunday night, two hours delay on the flight itself and a further hour waiting for luggage. Bags were so spaced apart it seemed there was only one person loading them on the carousel,” another traveller wrote.

In a reply to passengers who were reporting delays, Manchester Airport tweeted: “We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing delays at our airport. As the baggage reclaim process is independently managed and operated by your airline and its handling agent, we kindly ask that you contact them directly for more guidance and support at this time.”

In a subsequent statement shared on Twitter, Manchester Airport said: “We have been made aware of significant staffing challenges faced by Swissport, which is impacting the arrivals experience of passengers flying with the airlines it supports.”

“This may result in some delays to passengers being unable to disembark their aircraft, and to the baggage collection process, during the course of this evening,” the statement – which was posted on 18 December – continues.

Manchester Airport says: “It is disappointing that – despite assurances to the contrary –Swissport is not able to provide adequate resources during the busiest weekend of the Christmas travel period and we apologise to all passengers who have experienced unacceptable levels of service.”

Addressing how the situation is being resolved, the airport says its support team has been mobilised “to keep disruption to a minimum”, while “urgent clarification” is sought on Swissport’s next steps.

“We would like to thank the Swissport team currently operating at the airport under such challenging circumstances, and our airport colleagues for their support,” Manchester Airport finishes.

A spokesperson for Swissport told The Independent: “We apologise to passengers affected by the current disruption. Unfortunately, a combination of the continuing severe weather and staff illness has created some challenges for our teams.

“We understand this is a frustrating situation and we’re working closely with our airline and airport partners to mitigate these issues.”

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